Why Me

Written by on September 25, 2015 in Lifestyle

This message was written on Friday 25 September 2015 . May Allah grant her good health and shifaa Kaamila.

On 22 September 2015 I was diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis (MS). I had been convinced in the fibre of my being that my symptoms would just be an infection and not MS but since MS does affect your messages from your brain to your nerves, that message was definitely scrambled, because whether I wanted to believe it or not, I had a MS, conclusively proven by an MRI and a lumbar puncture.

The most difficult part was to inform my parents that their daughter was not being her normal hypochondriac self but that she was in fact a factory reject.

Then came the pity party – WHY ME?

Why me? Faith

Was I not a good person? Did I do something that caused it? I am a strong and independent person so how could my body be self-destructing?

After praying, extensive soul searching, discussions with specialists, Google searches, advice from family and the intervention of guardian angels, I have been able to answer that question.

Why me? Stupidity

A Sunday, the week before my diagnosis, I had started to get blurred vision, and it co-incided with me trying to seeing a partial solar eclipses so I attributed my symptoms to stupidity.

The symptoms worsened during the week and by Wednesday I visited an optometrist to see if I had damaged my sight. After a scan of my macula, I was told that there was no permanent damage and she referred me to an ophthalmologist.

The ophthalmologist, seemingly uninterested in a problem caused by my own stupidity, humoured me and did extensive scans and confirmed no damage to my eye. He told me to return in a month to see if there was any improvements.

Why me? – My fear of losing my eye-sight.

My biggest fear is to lose my eye-sight. I am an avid reader and I am in the legal profession. I had been receiving signs of MS but I had been ignoring them because I attributed them to other problems

§ Fatigue – that must be because I am working too hard, bad diet and no exercise.

§ Imbalance: It must be my gait. A sports shoe shop owner had tested my gait and said I drop my left hip.

§ Tingling in my fingers: It must be carpel tunnel syndrome.

It took something as drastic as losing my vision to take action. I would be none the wiser of my MS condition had this not happened.

Why me? – Optic Neuritis diagnosis.

I visited the optometrist to purchase sun-glasses after my inconclusive visit to the ophthalmologist. The optometrist was a stand in for regular optometrist and instead of just making the sale of an expensive pair of Ray Bans, she actually wanted to understand my condition.

After finding no eye damage and she indicated that she suspected an optic nerve issue called optic neuritis and suggested I see a neurologist. My first guardian angel intervention.

After the visit – I immediately Googled optical nerve issues pertaining to vision loss and I found out about optic neuritis. It matched my symptoms exactly. My family, with good cause, know that I have hypochondriac tendencies, so before I could communicate my self-diagnosis, I had to research the topic to convince my sceptical siblings. This pushed me to research the condition thoroughly and put the seed in my head that I needed to see a neurologist.

Why me? Leg spasms

Of all the days I was at my lowest because I could no longer see in my left eye, the ophthalmologist could not identify the cause, and I started to experience severe leg spasms.

I visited the casualty ward and after I received a muscle pain reliever, I non-chalantly also brought up my lack of eye-sight to see if there could be any link. The GP without any hindsight of scans or the history of the condition stated that it could be optical neuritis and referred me to a neurologist.

Second guardian angel intervention.

Based on this I felt more confident to get my well connected cousin to refer me to a neurologist. Her first recommendation was not available but she was able to get me admitted to see another specialist who just happened to specialise in MS. A thorough and gentle soul, tolerates and even encourages me to do my own research..and has even cured me of my fear of a lumbar puncture as I experienced no pain.

Third guardian angel intervention.

Why me? Hospital stay

I have not needed to have a medical aid apart from a hospital plan and to save even more money on fees, I chose the limited option which allows me to be admitted at only specific hospitals. If it was not for this option I would not have considered this hospital which would have been a pity since it has been such a wonderful stay. I was given a lovely room with a nice view and an unobtrusive roommate. The nursing staff were always friendly and despite the prodding, poking and early morning wake up calls, it is a happy place. Being of Indian origin and coming from a big extended family who wanted to visit, the fact that visiting hours wasn’t enforced was a big bonus.

The hospital stay made me realise how many people I have in my life who care for me. I received so many visitors and calls as well as messages of support and prayers from friends, family acquaintances as well as friends of my family whom I have not even met. I was told that after my diagnosis I would be depressed but I was not given a chance to think negative thoughts because of all the love I received.

Why me? Spending special day (Eid) at the hospital

I prepared to stay at the hospital for a day or two so I had not catered for 6 days. I wanted for nothing. I had constant company from the day I was admitted and if not physical, I received constant messages of support. I did not have any time to miss my Eid celebrations with my folks because my Johannesburg family and sibling spoilt me and I was even allowed a day pass to spend breakfast and dinner outside.

Why me? Treatment

I have been blessed to have a full time career and enough savings to afford to consider different treatments and options.

I have family who either have MS or are highly medically qualified and have helped and will help me to decode doctorlese (x-rays, MRIs, lab results etc). The guidance on what to be concerned about and what to disregard as noise has put me and my family at ease.

Why me? MS

A family member suffering from lupus is in considerable pain. Another family member has to travel to South Africa to get treatment for MS.

A brave and beautiful cousin with an amazing spirit who exuded positivity passed away from cancer a few months ago at this very hospital.

All these people have been afflicted far more than me and have and are handling their conditions with dignity and courage.

There is no definitive cause for MS and no cure but there are treatments to prevent relapses, treat relapses or delay the progression of the disease. With advances in medical science, my remitting and relapsing MS is significantly more treatable and manageable than it was 20 years ago.

If I didn’t go through the above I would not have been diagnosed with MS and would have been none the wiser unable to treat it until it was too late.

Why me? God’s plan

All these chance encounters and seemingly unrelated events have led me here. God sent all these people and situations in my life so that I could address a condition which is currently manageable. And if I didn’t believe God’s hand guiding me, then the next thing that happened banished any doubt. I have just received the answer from a message my cousin sent me. Take into account, she had no clue that I was processing this question by writing this essay.

“Why me? God decrees only that which is best for us. Trials and tribulations are sent not only to test us but also to strengthen us. The day we realise this we will stop asking the above question.”

So I have stopped asking myself WHY ME? because my answer is RATHER ME because ALLAH has decreed.

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